Espoir take on IPRC-Kigali in battle for playoffs spot

The national basketball league returns on Friday evening after a two-week break – to give room for the Genocide memorial tournaments, both local and regional editions.
Espoir captain Olivier Shyaka and his teammates react to the loss against IPRC-Kigali in the final of the Heroes' Day tournament. / Sam Ngendahimana
Espoir captain Olivier Shyaka and his teammates react to the loss against IPRC-Kigali in the final of the Heroes' Day tournament. / Sam Ngendahimana

Friday
UGB vs 30-Plus 6pm
Espoir vs IPRC-Kigali 8pm

Saturday

CSK vs IPRC-South 2pm
REG vs UGB 4pm
APR vs Patriots 6pm

Sunday
REG vs IPRC-Kigali 4pm

 

The national basketball league returns on Friday evening after a two-week break – to give room for the Genocide memorial tournaments, both local and regional editions.

 

The 2016/17 season is scheduled to climax next week, which makes this weekend’s games crucial for both title contenders and those seeking top four-finish to qualify for the playoffs.

 

Espoir, fresh from winning the Genocide memorial local tourney, will be up against the reigning Heroes’ Day tournament champions IPRC-Kigali at Amahoro Indoor Stadium in Remera.

Maxime Mwiseneza’s Espoir go into today’s game second on the league table standing with 28 points from 16 games, while their opponents, IPRC-Kigali, are fifth with 24 points but have played two games less.

A win for Espoir would open a five-point gap between them and IPRC-Kigali and would confirm a top-four finish.

“We must win the game so as to finish in the top four, we have REG in our last game and that is a very big game that we cannot be 100 per cent sure that we can win, so we have to win Friday and start to prepare for the playoffs,” said Espoir coach Mwiseneza.

After today’s game, IPRC-Kigali will take on league title favourites Rwanda Energy Group (REG) on Sunday.

On Saturday, Jean Bahufite’s REG, fresh from winning their first competitive title (Genocide memorial regional tournament), will be aiming to maintain their lead at the top when they take on seventh-placed United Generation Basketball (UGB) Club at Amahoro. REG lead with 29 points.

Fourth-placed IPRC-South, with 25 points, will entertain bottom side Cercile Sportif de Kigali (CSK) at the latter’s court in Rugunga.

Meanwhile, reigning regular season league champions, Patriots, will battle it out with sixth-placed APR at Amahoro Indoor Stadium on Saturday.

Patriots are third with 28 points, one behind leaders REG, and if they win their remaining three games against APR, CSK and Rusizi, and REG lose to Espoir in the final game, they will retain the title.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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